31 Weeks Pregnant - Symptoms, Baby Development, Tips - Babylist

31 Weeks Pregnant

May 16, 2019

31 Weeks Pregnant

31 Weeks Pregnant
31 Weeks Pregnant

Your baby is 16.2 inches long and weighs about 3.3 pounds this week. That’s about the size of SunnyD.

Your Baby at 31 Weeks

  • Changing position: Your baby is starting to nestle into the fetal position as space gets tighter in there. They’re probably faced head-down, getting ready for the big debut.
  • Head turning: They can move their head around from side to side now and are strengthening their neck muscles.
  • Super smarts: Your baby’s brain is developing so quickly! This week, baby’s developments include making important neural connections that ensure all five senses are on point. Yep, this baby-to-be’s ready to see, feel, touch, taste and hear.

💛 Congratulations 💛

There are 63 days until your due date!

Pregnancy Ultrasound Week 31

Photo by Tommy’s

Pregnancy Symptoms at 31 Weeks

  • Hip and/or back pain: Ouch! You may be feeling hip and back pain as your pelvis starts to loosen to get ready for giving birth. This can be related to pregnancy-induced sciatica, round ligament pain or just generalized aches. Try prenatal yoga or some of these stretches.
  • Breathlessness: It’s super common to experience shortness of breath during pregnancy. This is partially caused by the hormone progesterone, but also baby is getting bigger and crowding your lungs, not allowing you to breathe quite as deeply.
  • Hair and nail changes: Though it’s common for some pregnant moms to have fuller hair and great skin, not all are so lucky. Some experience very brittle nails during pregnancy. If your nails have started to chip excessively, don’t worry—they should go back to normal after you deliver.
  • Trouble sleeping: Baby’s movements are getting stronger, and ironically babies tend to have in-utero dance parties when mom finally gets a chance to relax. Not only that, you may be battling pregnancy symptoms that keep you awake, like leg cramps, or may simply be uncomfortable or even have a little stressed out—hey, there’s a lot on your mind! Stay well hydrated, prop yourself with as many pillows as you need to get comfy and practice calming nighttime rituals, such as shutting off screens or drinking chamomile tea. And get plenty of exercise during the day.
  • Braxton Hicks contractions: Your body’s practicing for giving birth. You may feel your belly tighten up and get rock hard for about 30 seconds here and there. If it’s just mildly uncomfortable and goes away when you switch positions, that’s a Braxton Hicks contraction. True labor contractions will feel painful and will happen at intervals that become regular and closer together as time goes on. Stay well hydrated to prevent having too many Braxton Hicks contractions and to prevent them from turning into preterm labor. Call the doc if you have more than four contractions in an hour, or if you have any other weird symptoms along with the discomfort.

Belly Aches and Pains During Pregnancy

Feeling pain in your belly? There are a few totally harmless reasons for abdominal pain that are common at 31 weeks pregnant. Here’s how to tell those aches and pains apart (or at least to try!)

  • Round ligament pain: Ligaments that run from the uterus to the groin stretch as baby grows. This can cause sharp pain when you switch positions. It can also be a dull ache.
  • Braxton Hicks contractions: Mentioned above, this is a tightening sensation that’s short and more uncomfortable than truly painful.
  • Gas or constipation: Gas pain can be hard to decipher from other aches but usually there are no other symptoms other than a mild belly ache. If it’s been a while since you’ve gone to the bathroom, it could mean you need to drink lots of water and eat some fiber to get things going again.

Know that there also are a few scary or harmful reasons for abdominal pain, including placental abruption, a urinary tract infection and preeclampsia, and these are some signs of those problems:

  • Pain that’s severe or won’t quit
  • Spotting or bleeding
  • Fever or chills
  • Lightheadedness
  • Pain or burning when you pee
  • Nausea and vomiting

Always call the doc if you have these symptoms or any time you’re experiencing pain and are unsure of the cause.

Your Pregnant Brain

Did you know all those pregnancy hormones are affecting your brain? We’re not talking about forgetfulness, which is what most people think of when they think “pregnancy brain.” We’re talking about a maturation that’s happening in that noggin. One study suggests women’s brains evolve during pregnancy to allow them to better understand other people’s perceptions. Maybe to empathize with a crying baby? We think so.

Your 31 Weeks Pregnant Belly

At 31 weeks pregnant, average weight gain is about 21 to 27 pounds. Your uterus now fills your entire pelvis, and you might find your belly gets in the way of just about everything you do, including walking. Hello waddle!

Amniotic fluid continues to increase until about 36 weeks pregnant, contributing to the fact that your belly seems to be growing by the day! And baby’s movements are stronger than ever. Hi-ya!

Baby Bumps at 31 Weeks Pregnant

31 weeks pregnant belly @shivaun elizabeth

31 weeks pregnant weight gain @sophienicole93

31 weeks pregnant pictures @meghanjschmidt

31 weeks pregnant bump @kl haworth

31 weeks pregnant bump picture @cassy16

31 weeks pregnant exactly @missmorganjj

[31 weeks pregnant hard belly @official lullue

fundal height at 31 weeks pregnant @shivaun elizabeth

31 weeks pregnant stomach hard @hillp22

Top Tip for 31 Weeks Pregnant

A few niceties of home (like your favorite robe, slippers and pjs) will make your hospital stay much more enjoyable.

What to Pack for the Hospital

whattopack hospitalbag header k7tnux

There are lots of things about labor and delivery that you can’t prepare for. But you can at least make sure you have some of the supplies and comforts of home you’ll want. Start packing your hospital bag now and plan to have it filled with goodies in the next few weeks.

Don’t worry about bringing a million things for baby care or for your own recovery. The hospital will have diapers, baby wipes, petroleum jelly, (huge) feminine pads and OTC pain relievers. What they won’t have is personalized items you may want for giving birth, such as (of course) your birth plan and your favorite music, if you want it played during labor.

Some other important items to bring along:

For You

  • Your birth plan
  • Robe
  • Toiletries
  • Comfortable clothes
  • Cell phone charging cord
  • Portable bluetooth speaker and digital music playlist

For Your Baby

  • Car seat (installed in the car, not in the box obvs)
  • Going-home outfit
  • Pediatrician’s contact information

Here’s our full list of what to pack for yourself, the baby and your partner.


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Week 31 Pregnancy Checklist

  • Pack that hospital bag.
  • Make a few freezer meals to have once the baby is born. (Not only dinners—a few loaves of banana bread might make perfect morning snacks.)
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